Off topic: Fluorescent light bulbs
Thread poster: Nicolas Coyer

Nicolas Coyer  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 13:42
Spanish to French
+ ...
Jan 5, 2010

Had anyone of you heard that those bulb contain mercury?
I read they recommend to handle them with care lest they might release this toxic metal if broken, which it is especially harmful to children and pregnant women.
I think this aspect has not had the publicity it deserves given the toxicity of mercury.
I am particularly concerned about recycling when the ones I use at home go dull bc I have not heard of any facility that offers a safe recycling process here in Colombia.
So now, here comes a question: will the new LED light bulbs be a "greener" solution?

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf


 

Jaqueline Barbosa
Brazil
Local time: 15:42
Portuguese to English
+ ...
A solution? Jan 5, 2010

The key strength of LED lighting is reduced power consumption. When designed properly, an LED circuit will approach 80% efficiency, which means 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy.
The main problem to the adoption of white LED lighting is the current high cost of led bulbs. Although the cost keeps going down, they are still very expensive.
The government should invest in those types of ecofriendly alternatives, so that everybody can have access to it. If we think of a country such as Brazil, where many people have very low economic conditions, it is not expected that the population adopt this type of resource.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
And e-readers Jan 5, 2010

Well, I also hear frequently that books are not environmentally-friendly and that they should all be replaced by e-readers. Just imagine a normal household with three or more e-readers that are replaced every year by newer ones which are more powerful and have more features.More dangerous toxic waste to make our world damn dirty long-term (let alone the fact that you have to feed them with plenty of energy every day).

Let's compare that with books, that are little more than processed wood and a tiny bit of rather harmless glue and never require energy after production! In fact, when you don't need them anymore or just grow to dislike them, they can eventually give back their energy as a relatively clean form of fuel.

Let's think about the long-term consequences of our gadgets folks!!


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:42
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
well known fact in my part of the world Jan 5, 2010

Nicolas Coyer wrote:

Had anyone of you heard that those bulb contain mercury?
I read they recommend to handle them with care lest they might release this toxic metal if broken, which it is especially harmful to children and pregnant women.
I think this aspect has not had the publicity it deserves given the toxicity of mercury.
I am particularly concerned about recycling when the ones I use at home go dull bc I have not heard of any facility that offers a safe recycling process here in Colombia.
So now, here comes a question: will the new LED light bulbs be a "greener" solution?

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/promotions/change_light/downloads/Fact_Sheet_Mercury.pdf


The fact that fluorescent lamps contain mercury is well known in Europe, as far as I know, and it certainly is in Germany.

The amount of mercury is very, small, but still they should be disposed of seperately. You're absolutely safe as long as they don't break. If they do, you can sweep the pieces up (without touching them) and put them in a jar filled with water. That way, you can prevent emission of mercury into the atmosphere. Wash your hands thouroughly afterwards. However, most people (including me) will consider this procedure way excessive. Remember: The amount of mercury is extremely small (a conventional fever thermometer contains about 500 times as much mercury as a fluorescent lamp, and people didn't lose sleep over that), and being exposed to small amounts for a short period of time usually is no problem. Chances are that you are intoxicated by more mercury from the fillings of your teeth every day than by fluorescent lamps during your whole lifetime.

The problem with mercury isn't individual poisoning, but its accumulation in the environment. Careless disposal of millions and millions of fluorescent lamps can be a relevant problem for the environment.

But, to answer your question whether LED bulbs are "greener": Yes, they are.

HTH,
Erik


Edited for typos

[Bearbeitet am 2010-01-05 21:42 GMT]

[Bearbeitet am 2010-01-06 00:33 GMT]


 

Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:42
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Can't stand them Jan 6, 2010

I have never liked any kind of fluorescent lighting, since I find it very hard on my eyes. I tried using one of those LED bulbs for a while and had to go back to incandescent for the sake of my vision. If they ever threaten to ban incandescent bulbs I'll just have to start hoarding them! And this is coming from a person who is otherwise very "green" and environmentally conscious. This is my one lapse.

 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:42
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
incandescent light bulbs ARE banned in Europe Jan 6, 2010

Amy Duncan wrote:
If they ever threaten to ban incandescent bulbs I'll just have to start hoarding them! And this is coming from a person who is otherwise very "green" and environmentally conscious. This is my one lapse.


They ARE banned in Europe, and sales increased several hundred percent in the last months they could be sold.

IMO, the disadvantages of incandescent light are strongly overestimated. They still provide the best light compared to other systems, and at least in regions where people need to heat their houses, the argument that incandescent bulbs are inefficient isn't really valid, because you save on heating costs.

In the meantime, I have found peace with halogen (bulbs and spots) - they are about 30% more energy efficient, the quality of their light is impeccable. I believe the European Union plans to ban these as well in a couple of years. Maybe LED lights have grown up until then ...


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:42
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Light bulbs are already rare in Europe Jan 6, 2010

Amy Duncan wrote:

I have never liked any kind of fluorescent lighting, since I find it very hard on my eyes. I tried using one of those LED bulbs for a while and had to go back to incandescent for the sake of my vision. If they ever threaten to ban incandescent bulbs I'll just have to start hoarding them! And this is coming from a person who is otherwise very "green" and environmentally conscious. This is my one lapse.


The EU has started to switch to energy saving lamps and in the shops traditional bulbs, where a metal thread is glowing, are rare already. The technology is described here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

In fact I have been using these compact fluorescent lamps (manufactured originally by Phillips) since 1984 in my office and elsewhere. I like them. They are friendly to the eye and don't flicker as do those neon-tubes. In the bathroom I had to replace the neon-tube already twice since 2006, I wonder why they are still used so much in sanitation lighting.

Those last few weeks we have been using lots of candle lighting, for some reason.icon_smile.gif

Regards
Heinrich


 

Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:42
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Locking this thread Jan 6, 2010

As interesting as it may seem, I am locking this thread now, as per ProZ.com rules, this post is clearly out of the site's scope.

Thank you for your understanding.

Ligia Dias Costa


 


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